Best Cages for Your Rabbit Great rabbit cage selections and all you need to know about rabbit cages

Rabbits from the moment you saw one, you fell head over heels for them. They’re cute. They’re fluffy. They’re warm. You just want to cuddle with them all day long. So you decide to keep one around you that you can play with as you wish.

In trying to decide how you are going to house your bunny, you may have come across a lot of options in the form of rabbit cages. This list will give you a variety of options. We understand every person has different needs and requirements for their bunny. This list takes a complete look at those combinations of requirements. The following are a variety of cages we picked out for you.

best rabbit cage

Top 10 Rabbit Cages

Guide: Rabbit Cage vs. Hutch

What is a hutch?

Rabbits love to run around and jump a lot. This is a major thing to consider when deciding which of the two types of housing to pick.

A hutch is a traditional setup for housing rabbits. These are kept outside, and they typically can be made to be as large as you see fit. They are traditionally made of wood, and they are divided into two compartments.

The first part compartment is made of wire mesh to allow your fluffy bunny to experience the sun and wind. The second compartment is walled off from the elements to protect the precious little thing. When the conditions worsen outside, your rabbit will have a refuge that they can use to keep from getting hurt by the elements.

They usually have roofs that open up to allow easy access for general cleaning. And petting the rabbits. Okay, and taking the rabbits out to play.

Critical factors to consider when buying a hutch

Rabbits are known to chew a lot of things. If you do decide you are getting a hutch, shop around for one where the wood wasn’t treated with chemicals. In case the rabbit chews the wood, this may harm your rabbit in the long term. If you can find one coated in chew-proof dust that would be even better as this will protect the rabbit from ingesting what was not meant to be food.

Why you should get a rabbit hutch

rabbit in cage

If you do not move around a lot, a hutch may make more sense to you. This will also not take up precious space inside your home. It also keeps your home odor free. The smell of ammonia is especially strong immediately after a rabbit does its business. This can really put off people with a keen sense of smell. If your rabbit is also not neutered, there is a high chance it may splash its environs when doing its business. Having a hutch will help keep your home rabbit waste free. Well, unless you let them into the house and you are yet to litter train them.

If you live in an area that experiences winter, you can choose to make your hutch winter-proof. Although ventilation is important for your heat-sensitive bunny, leaving them to face a draught is not advisable. You can use a clear plastic sheet to prevent draughts from getting to your rabbit. This will allow your rabbit to see the light of the sun still and adjust its routine accordingly.

In case the weather gets extreme, you can weatherproof the hutch. Using a well held down tarpaulin, you can cover the hutch to prevent the elements from getting to your fluffy friend.

In case the weather dips below freezing point, there are a variety of microwave heating pads available for you to use. It is not advisable to use a hot water bottle as your fluffy friend may get curious and decide to nibble on it.

What type of flooring should you choose for the hutch?

One thing to consider is the flooring. You can have one made of hard wire mesh. This allows for easier cleaning. They usually have pans underneath them that allow you to remove the droppings and change the litter. A drawback of this is wire mesh can be really uncomfortable for the rabbit. This might even hurt heavier breeds like the Flemish Giant. If you do choose the wire mesh option, ensure that the second compartment has a solid floor to give the fluffy one some rest from the punishing wire mesh.

If you decide to use a wire mesh floor, there are a variety of beddings that you can use to line the floor to minimize chances of your rabbit developing injuries or even sore hocks.

You can also choose to have solid floors for the hutches. A solid floor will be much more comfortable for the fluffy one. The main drawback, however, comes when you would like to clean them. Solid floors require much more care. The rabbits have to be moved elsewhere to allow the beddings to be removed and the litter changed.

A good way to keep solid floor hutches clean is to litter-train the rabbit. This can be done by placing a tray in the enclosure. The tray can then be cleaned and sanitized with ease.

What is a rabbit cage?

While having the rabbits around in your garden may look like fun, exposing them to the elements may be problematic for their health. A good compromise would have them indoors, with access to the outside world to go expend some energy.

If you decide to keep the fluffy one inside the house, then you will need to find yourself a good cage. Since this will be the fluffy one’s main abode, it is of paramount importance that it be comfortable. This means you will have to find a cage that is at least four times the size of the rabbit. A good option is to have a cage that has shelves. Another option is to have one that has more than one story. This gives the rabbit an option to get off the flooring whenever they want to or feel like it.

A cage has one handy convenience over a hutch. Cages are almost always portable. This makes it easier to move around in case the need arises. They are small enough to fit in cars or RVs. You can bring your rabbit with you when you decide to go on that long journey.

Cage and Hutch, which of the two should you choose?

If you have a large garden, giving your rabbit room to run and would be the better option. A hutch would be better in this situation. You can have a large one built and have your rabbits roam wherever and whenever they feel like.

If you live in an apartment, or your garden or backyard has other uses, a cage would be ideal. This will allow you access to your cuddly bunny at any time. It’s also a good way to shield them from the elements.

A general warning though, don’t keep them on the balcony during the summer months. Your bunny cools body temperature through the veins in the ears. A balcony may not be the best place to put them as they may not be properly ventilated.

What type of bedding should you use in your rabbit’s cage or hutch?

The type of bedding you use matters when it comes to how comfortable your rabbit will be. Some rabbit beddings can become health hazards to your bunny.

  • Clay kitty litter may be a good choice for your rabbit to sit on. However, if the hutch or cage is not placed in a well-ventilated area, the dust may irritate your rabbit.
  • Sisal mats are good bedding to use if you decide to use wire mesh flooring. This will protect the feet of your rabbit from injury. It is also light and easy to clean.
  • Newspapers are a good, cheap, easy to source alternative. They are easy to use if you want to clean your cages faster. If the rabbit doesn’t get enough play time, they might rip up the newspapers. The ink from the newspapers can be harmful to the rabbit if they eat too much.
  • Shredded cardboard may be a better product when compared to newspapers. They can provide insulation in the hutches. They are also absorbent.
  • Straw is good bedding for your bunny. It can provide insulation and warmth for your rabbit. Ensure you have enough stocked up as it is not very absorbent.
  • Hay. Yes, hay. It is a good meal for your rabbit. It also makes for very good bedding for keeping your fluffy one warm and comfortable. When buying hay, make sure it has a sweet smell and does not have mold in it.
  • Sawdust is the most common type of bedding used. If you do decide to use this, ensure that the hutch or cage is well ventilated. Studies have linked sawdust to liver disease in rabbits.
  • Wood pellets have recently gained in popularity. They are mostly used as cat litter. They are quite absorbent. A downside of this is they break down when wet due to expansion. This results in dust forming when they dry up and break down.
  • Paper pellets are made to operate in a similar manner to wood pellets. They are made from recycled paper thus making them eco-friendly. They are quite absorbent. A distinct advantage they have is that they do not expand as much as wood product beddings. They also weigh a fraction of the weight of wood-based beddings.
  • Paper Pulp is an emerging product. It is made from recycled paper. This makes it environmentally friendly. A good advantage it has is it can absorb moisture as much as three times its own weight. This makes it pocket-friendly as you don't have to use a lot. It is also good at controlling odors.
best bunny cage

FAQ

What does a rabbit need in its cage?

  • Mosquito netting is essential to protect the rabbit from flying insects. Mosquitoes are known to infect rabbits with a disease called myxomatosis. This is a viral disease caused by the Myxoma virus. It has adverse effects in rabbits, and if left untreated, it is fatal.

They also cause Calicivirus, also known as Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease. The disease destroys internal organs, and the result is hemorrhaging or bleeding. This is also fatal if left untreated.

  • Companionship is important for rabbits. They are social animals and therefore require frequent socialization. You can provide this by frequently letting out your rabbit to play with you, or having another rabbit with it. To avoid unwanted litters, you can have same sex rabbits, or separate the males from the females.
  • A litter box is important if you want to keep your rabbit indoors. Rabbits can be litter trained, even though they might not use it immediately. Be patient as you teach them. A triangular litter that can be placed in the corners would be a perfect fit.
  • A food bowl is a must-have in your cage. Choose one that the rabbit would find difficult to tip over. This can be one with a heavy base or long enough to have a stable base. You can also find some that can be bolted to the bottom of the cage or clipped to the corners.
  • Water is the most important thing your rabbit will need. There are two ways you can give water to your rabbit. One way to do this is to use a water bottle. Most water bottles for rabbits come with a hook that you can use to attach to the sides of the mesh. Another way you can attach the bottle is to use a bicycle bottle holder. Attaching this to the side of the cage allows you to switch bottles quickly.

During winter, the water in the bottle may freeze. This will deny your rabbit a vital resource. You can purchase water bottle covers that you can use to insulate the water from the elements.

You can use a bowl as well. This may feel more natural to the rabbit. A downside of this is that there is a chance of spilling the water. Damp bedding can cause your rabbit’s feet to develop a variety of infections.

  • Bedding is important to protect your rabbit from injury. Sitting on a wire mesh floor is a painful affair for your rabbit.

Do rabbits need a big cage?

If you plan to have your rabbit spend all of its time in a cage, then yes, they do. Even if you plan to have them roam around the house as they please, a big cage is still important. The cage will act as a safe haven for the rabbit.

Rabbits are quite content to be kept in a cage. However, frequent exercise is important. Having room to exercise is also important. If the rabbit does not have room to stretch, it is likely to develop spinal problems. Wasting away of muscles and obesity are other side effects of not having room to play.

Should you cover a rabbit’s cage at night?

Rabbits naturally are burrowing animals. Having a dark enclosure enables them to feel secure. An enclosed compartment in their cage should take care of this need.

A cover might be useful if the cage does not have an enclosure. They can also come in handy to shield them from a draught. Even though they have fur to help keep them warm, a strong draught or cold winter temperatures can actually make them shiver.

What you have to take into consideration is rabbits are active at dawn and dusk. If you do choose to cover their cages, make sure to leave some room at the bottom. This allows your rabbit to see the natural light of the day and adjust accordingly.

Rabbits are sensitive to heat. You should poke tiny holes into the covering to allow freer movement of air. Leaving space at the bottom also allows cooler air to come into the cage.

Rabbits are also known for chewing the covers. It would be best if you pick a material that they might not easily chew into. If they eat into a blanket, this could cause serious problems with their digestive systems. This could lead to serious injury or even death.

Do rabbits smell if kept indoors?

In much the same way that a cat does, a rabbit will lick itself clean. Their tongues have evolved over thousands of years to develop this ability. Rabbits also clean their companions, especially if they can’t reach certain places. This is a good sign letting you know the rabbits are getting along. If your rabbit has a problem in maintaining hygiene, then it might be time to visit a vet.

Unlike a dog, a rabbit does not really emit any odors. If you do come across an odor from your rabbit, it may have developed an infection. This is especially true if their ears are infected. You may detect a musky smell. The other time a rabbit may omit an odor is if a male that has not to be neutered is close to a female.

If you come across a strong ammonia smell, then that is from the urine. Males have been known to use this to mark their territory. Since rabbits always usually urinate in one place, litter training will take care of this. Using a litter that has natural deodorants like baking soda can help reduce strong smells.

A rabbit that is healthy will have nearly odorless feces. They usually appear as small, dark droplets. If it is runny or looks like that of a cow, your rabbit may have an intestinal illness.

Can a rabbit be litter-trained?

Yes, this is a bit of a loaded question. It is possible to litter-train you rabbit. However, something else has to happen first. You have to spay or neuter your fluffy little friend.

It is almost impossible to just not let your rabbit turn your living space into theirs as well. You want them to be as free as you are, but with limits. It is difficult to litter-train a rabbit that is yet to be spayed or neutered. Letting them out of their cage before they undergo the procedure is risky. They will turn anywhere in your living quarters into a giant litter box.

Once they get used to this, it would become a difficult task to change their habits. Therefore, the training has to start immediately you get them.

When it comes to litter-training, the first thing you will need to do is choose an appropriate cage for them. You have to keep them in this enclosure the whole time you are litter training them. You have to pick an appropriate bedding for them, preferably one that won’t cause illness or discomfort to your fluffy bunny. Also, do pick an appropriate area for the training.

You will need to be hands-on during the training. Encourage the rabbit to handle its business on the litter box. Gently. If they do it on the floor, pick both the rabbit and its business and place them on the litter box. You can use a child’s play pen to create an enclosure that the rabbit cannot wander away from. Ensure that you spend a lot of time with the rabbit. Put them in their cage or hutch if you have other business to attend to.

Once you are confident that the rabbit only does their business on the litter box, you can expand the training to other rooms. You can even let them out of the play pen to explore their human’s surroundings when you have confidence they will only use their litter box.

References and further reading:

  1. petMD, How to Train a Rabbit
  2. MSPCA-Angell, Interesting Facts About Rabbits
  3. PETA, 45 Bunny Facts to Make You Go ‘Squee!’

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